Food

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Come watch Chef with local chefs Wednesday for Suds and Cinema

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 1:50 PM

chef-still.jpg

To get you hungry and ramped up for Inlander Restaurant Week, which begins on Friday, we're turning our Suds and Cinema series into a hunger-inducing, beer-sipping (or chugging, if that's more your speed) celebration at the Overbluff Cellars Events Center in the Washington Cracker Building tomorrow (Wednesday) night.

We'll be showing Chef, an indie gem directed by and starring Jon Favreau about a celebrity chef who leaves life in a restaurant to start his own gourmet food truck. We'll also have a panel discussion featuring Chef Jeremy Hansen of Sante, Chef Travis Dickinson from Clover and Greg Brandt, the co-owner and co-brewer of Iron Goat Brewing, whose beer is also featured at the event in 22-ounce bottles.

Also, we have a food truck, Tacos el Sol, to tie into the movie and Horizon Credit Union will be on hand giving out $5 vouchers to the truck for some lucky attendees. And for dessert, Brain Freeze Creamery, a familiar face at past Suds and Cinema, will be scooping up the cold stuff.

We open doors and begin serving beer at 6:30 pm and the panel discussion begins at 7:30 pm, with the movie to follow immediately after. Overbluff Cellars Event Center is located at 304 W. Pacific Avenue, in the space that houses the annual Terrain event. Here is additional event info.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Spokane Chef Adam Hegsted a finalist for the 2016 James Beard Award

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 2:06 PM


Spokane's flourishing food scene is grabbing some deserved national attention again.

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This time, Inland Northwest chef and restaurant owner Adam Hegsted — chef-owner of The Wandering Table and The Gilded Unicorn in Spokane, and The Cellar in Coeur d'Alene — has been named a semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Best Chef Award.

Hegsted is a semifinalist for the Northwest region, which lists a total of 20 chefs mostly from Seattle and Portland.

James Beard Awards are a big deal for those in the food and hospitality industry. Semifinalists are chosen from a pool of more than 20,000 nominees from across the country — landing a James Beard Award means you're one of the best chefs in the nation. 

Spokane's culinary creatives are no stranger to this accolade, as last year we also saw Sante Restaurant & Charcuterie and Common Crumb Chef Jeremy Hansen named a semifinalist.

This year's awards are to be presented during the 2016 James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago, on May 2. But first, we'll be rooting for Hegsted to be named a finalist in an announcement about a month from now, on March 15.


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Friday, February 5, 2016

Three Top Chefs add star power to Spokane’s Ruins

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 10:06 AM

Tony Brown, of Ruins
  • Tony Brown, of Ruins

On an average night, Ruins is one of Spokane’s most interesting and innovative restaurants in the region, led by chef and owner Tony Brown’s ever-changing small-plates menu. In a relatively unremarkable building on North Monroe Street, just around the corner from the county jail, Brown has created a restaurant where other chefs come to while away an hour after their shifts and delight in well-prepared food. And that’s just on an average night.

Last night at Ruins wasn’t average.

Brown had help in his tiny kitchen.
From left: Kwame Onwuachi, Chad White and Phillip Frankland Lee at Ruins
  • From left: Kwame Onwuachi, Chad White and Phillip Frankland Lee at Ruins
 For one, there was Chad White, Spokane-born owner of restaurants in San Diego and Tijuana, who was just recently eliminated from the current season of Bravo TV’s Top Chef and is in the process of opening a place here. And there were two of White’s friends, also competing on Top Chef: Phillip Frankland Lee and Kwame Onwuachi, who flew into Spokane hours before dinner service to help in the special, multi-course meal inspired by Mexican street food.

The dishes were playful and tasty, beginning with Chef Phillip’s mussel and tequila shot seen below. (He brought ingredients with him, but TSA security got to them first.)
The first course, by Phillip
  • The first course, by Phillip


Not working but eating last night were two of the Inland Northwest’s best-known chefs: Jeremy Hansen of Sante, who previously collaborated with White; and David Blaine of Central Food. (Random recommendations: Try Sante’s wine-paired tasting menu and Central Food’s bibimbap.)

Besides the tasty food and expertly crafted cocktails, something else became very clear last night: Spokane’s chef culture is growing, and rather than see each other as competitors, local chefs are working together, supportively, to create new and interesting things. In March, for example, Hansen is organizing Chef’s Week. And later this month, there’s Inlander Restaurant Week, featuring 100 restaurants all doing special three-course meals.

On average, it's a very good time to eat!
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Inlander Restaurant Week 2016 menus are live!

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 8:02 AM

Shrimp and scallop gnocci is on the IRW menu at Scratch. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Shrimp and scallop gnocci is on the IRW menu at Scratch.

The table is set and open for reservations.

As of today, all of the three-course menus featured at Inlander Restaurant Week's 104 participating restaurants — the fourth-annual culinary event is set for Feb. 26 through March 6 — are now live online.

From fresh sushi in Coeur d'Alene to Italian fare in Browne's Addition, Restaurant Week offers flavors to suit any taste, occasion and budget. The online menu database allows users to browse alphabetically, or search by price (the fixed-price menu options are $19 or $29 per person), cuisine style and location. While you're browsing, look for the Drink Local symbols noted on each menu, indicating the variety of locally made spirits, beer, cider, wine and coffee offered at many of the IRW eateries.

There are still several weeks before the event kicks off, but start thinking now about when, where and what other special events you might want to tie in with your restaurant experience. Weekend dining during Restaurant Week is especially likely to be busy, so calling ahead to save your place at the table (on any night) is not a bad idea. After all, you don't want to miss out on sampling the menus at the top of your IRW 2016 "bucket list." 

Also, don't forget to grab the Feb. 25 issue of the Inlander, which includes a comprehensive guide to Restaurant Week 2016 — as well as printed versions of the menus — including interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, a list of all places new to IRW, and menu highlights that intrigued us.


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Friday, January 29, 2016

Spokane's Top Chef contestant Chad White is eliminated

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 11:39 AM

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Local boy Chad White has been blazing through Bravo's Top Chef, earning a spot in the top 10. Last night, however, his run ended when judges took exception with the daintiness of his dish — micro greens on seared tuna — for what was supposed to be a gluttonous beefsteak event where food is consumed in large quantities without utensils. See his offending dish below.
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As regular Top Chef viewers know, his exit brought him to the Last Chance Kitchen, where he went head to head with a previously eliminated contestant for chance at winning a place back in the competition. As luck would have it, White would face another Washingtonian: Seattle's Jason Stratton. Watch them battle it out below.

It doesn't go White's way, but fear not: White, who owns restaurants in San Diego and Tijuana, is back in Spokane and is looking to start his latest venture: Native Post and Provisions, featuring the flavors of the Inland Northwest. In the meantime, he's teaming up with local chefs for special one-off events, including next week's sold-out dinner at Ruins in Spokane.


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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

No-Li launches new LocALE beer, LocALE neighborhoods iniative

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 4:01 PM

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Three cheers for local beer, food and community!

This year, Spokane's internationally-recognized No-Li Brewhouse is kicking off a new event that features various neighborhoods in Spokane, one each month for the remainder of 2016.

Every Monday throughout the month, LocALE at No-Li highlights a Spokane neighborhood through its staff donating and volunteering their time within the 'hood, as well as selling collectible, branded pint glasses unique to each neighborhood.

For years, No-Li has consistently worked with community businesses and nonprofits to raise awareness of their missions, and to donate time and money to various causes in the region. Previously partnering with organizations such as SpokAnimal and Toys for Tots, No-Li created LocALE to further integrate the "community fabric" into its work.

"The Spokane community is a fabric of local neighborhoods that add character and a sense of being real and grounded," No-Li owner John Bryant says in a press release. "We look forward to celebrating the individuality and specialness of our community, one Spokane neighborhood at a time."

LocALE is scheduled to kick off at the brewery (1003 E. Trent Ave) on Feb. 1, from 5-8 pm, during which they'll release the first of the 11 collectible neighborhood pint glasses.


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Several one-time, local chef dinners are coming up — make reservations soon

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 1:00 PM

We're obviously super excited about the fourth annual Inlander Restaurant Week coming up in exactly a month — happening for 10 days from Feb. 26 through March 6 — but there are many special culinary events to look forward to in the meantime. (Also, don't forget that Restaurant Week menus are being released online next week, on Thursday, Feb. 4).

Special one-time and occasional chef dinners aren't a new trend, but of late we've definitely noticed more of these intimate events happening across the region. Since most have limited seating and feature a special menu offered that night only, making reservations is required. This means knowing about an event ahead of time is important, as many sell out early.

Here's the latest round-up of one-time chef dinners happening in the coming weeks that we've heard of:

Cellar Supper Club Wine Dinner — Chef Adam Hegsted
The Coeur d'Alene restaurant was purchased more than a year ago by acclaimed local chef Adam Hegsted, and occasionally hosts exclusive wine dinners, including this Friday's event (Jan. 29, at 6 pm) which is limited to only 10 guests. The $125 ticket price (including tax/tip) includes a seven-course dinner, which includes highlights such as foie gras, braised lamb, poached oysters and smoked duck. Each course is paired with wine from Europe or Washington state.

The scene at the Ivory Table's monthly supper club dinner last December. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak photo
  • The scene at the Ivory Table's monthly supper club dinner last December.

The Ivory Table's Supper Club — Chef Kristen White
This monthly event at the French-inspired cafe on East Sprague features a four-course dinner created by Chef/owner Kristen Ward. (Read more about the dinners in this Inlander feature from December.) Held monthly on the first Friday, February's dinner (Feb. 5, 6 pm) is Spanish-inspired and includes wine pairings selected by Pomum Cellars' winemaker Javier Alfonso. There are only 30 spots available at these dinners, which are $65/person not including wine pairings (an additional $25/person). 

If you can't make it to the Friday night dinner, or if it sells out (which happens each month) there's also a special Valentine's weekend dinner offering five courses served by candlelight, set for Sunday, Feb. 14, at 6 pm. Dinner and wine pairings are the same price as the monthly Supper Club dinner.

Continue reading »

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Mark your calendars for Inlander Restaurant Week 2016

Posted By on Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 1:44 PM

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The year has barely started and we're already looking ahead seven weeks for the fourth annual Inlander Restaurant Week, happening this year from February 26 through March 6.

That's a week later than last year, but pretty much all other details about the 10-day culinary showcase of the region remain the same as in previous years.

This year's event has expanded slightly from last year, which saw 97 participating eateries around the region. For 2016, that number has already surpassed 100, and as of this writing hits at 104 — becoming the biggest Restaurant Week ever.

On of this year's big newcomers is Masselow's Steakhouse at Northern Quest Resort & Casino. The restaurant was rebranded this past summer, and its menu underwent some major changes.

Other newcomers — many are restaurants newly opened since last year — to the fourth IRW include: The Blackbird Tavern + Kitchen, Browne's Tavern, Crickets (CdA), Gaslamp (River Park Square), The Gilded Unicorn, Nudo, Table 13 (Davenport Grand) and Timber Gastro Pub (Post Falls).  

Menu prices are still fixed for a three-course meal, at either $19 or $29/person (Yes, you're right, that's $1 more than past years. Obviously, it's still a heck of a deal.)

But we can't tell you yet what's got us drooling on the menus so far because, for one, we haven't seen them ourselves, and they're not being officially released online (at inlanderrestaurantweek.com) until February 4.

For now, start thinking about what new spots and old favorites in town you're hoping to check out, and clear out a few evenings on your calendar to get out and sample our region's blossoming culinary industry. It's really mind-boggling how much our regional food scene has grown and matured in recent years, and this year already has a lot in store.


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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Meet your barista: Alan Roll at The Service Station

Posted By on Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 10:00 AM

For a traditional Ethiopian coffee experienced in a large café setting, The Service Station in North Spokane is the place to be. With a spacious seating area equipped with tables, bar-style seating and oversized arm chairs, this gathering place is the perfect amount of cozy and business. 

Since 2011, Alan Roll has been a part of the team at The Service Station, moving from serving coffee into his current position as general manager. 

KAILEE HAONG
  • Kailee Haong

INLANDER: How did you end up at The Service Station?
ROLL: Good close friends opened up this place, actually. Since then, it's changed hands a couple times, but I'm here because I love The Service Station. I was first hired on in January 2011 and I worked for about a year. [Then] I had a massive brain injury. After recovery, I came back to work for a little bit, then I moved for a year. I came back as a supervisor, and I am actually now the general manager. 

What made you want to get into coffee?
I'll start by saying I've always drank coffee. I think the things that have caught my eye about coffee in the past is the art that can be intertwined along with just a simple cup of coffee. What caught my eye here was the statement about what The Service Station is. The fact that friends owned it, and also I was just waiting tables which I had done for some time, so a nice change of scenery was appropriate, and I couldn't have asked for a better scene right now. 

What's the most rewarding thing about working here?
Oh, the guests. Absolutely, hands down. I have met so many new people, family, friends — I would not be here if it wasn't for the people here. I'm here for the people. I love people, I absolutely love people. I thrive on it. 

Any current coffee trends you've been noticing?
People are actually really getting away from what a genuine cup of coffee is. A cup of coffee is what everybody drinks, but it's so done up now. You're not even really tasting the coffee anymore. Even just a single solo macchiato shot with a dab of cream and a little bit of caramel, that happens maybe once a day. You want a great cup of coffee and you really want to taste what you're drinking— I wish there was more of that. We are falling away from what an actual cup of coffee really is.

Do you have a favorite memory of working here?
I don't know if I have a specific memory. I have so many good ones, there aren't any bad ones. If anything, I would just have to revert back to my guests.

KAILEE HAONG
  • Kailee Haong

Have you had any really memorable customers?
Mary. I love Mary. She's a teacher, I want to say at Brentwood. I might be wrong on that, and I don't even know her last name. But I know her drink, I know what bagel she gets. She is definitely hands-down my favorite. She's brought me a plant.

What is your favorite thing to drink here?
Oh, it'd have to be my drink. It has actually gotten outside the counter and people actually come in and order "the Alan." What it is, is a drip coffee with horchata, brown sugar, cinnamon and a splash of almond milk.

What is your favorite food item here?
The chicken panini. 

What are some of your hobbies?
Actually, I do some odd-ball art, I'd have to say. I like to decoupage many things. Just to start, giant canvases. I have some hanging on my wall in my home, like 4-feet-by-5-feet. I have a table top that I've decoupaged. I'm also a complete plant fiend. I even have one of my aloe vera cactuses in here. I love nature, so when the weather is appropriate, hiking, walking — all over the place.

If you could describe the coffee shop in one word, what would it be?
Blessing. 


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top Chef contestant and Spokane native Chad White comes home to open a restaurant

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 11:54 AM

A screenshot of Native Post & Provision's website.
  • A screenshot of Native Post & Provision's website.

Chef Chad White - CHEF CHAD WHITE FACEBOOK
  • Chef Chad White Facebook
  • Chef Chad White

Spokane's food scene is in the midst of a renaissance, with more chef-owned eateries popping up than ever. Ripe for growth, the industry is even drawing top talent from major culinary cities who are eager to get back to their small-town roots. The latest personality to enter the Inland Northwest food scene is San Diego's Chef Chad White — also a contestant on the 13th season of Top Chef, Top Chef: California — who's coming home to Spokane to open a planned eatery called Native Post & Provisions. The Top Chef season White is competing in premieres on Bravo on Dec. 2-3, and will feature 17 chefs from across California.

Eater San Diego reports that upon his return to Spokane, Chef White is planning to open a 40-to-50-seat restaurant featuring a Northwest-centric menu, with most dishes cooked over a wood fire. The projected opening date is spring 2016. It's not yet confirmed where Native Post & Provisions is to be located.

White, an award-winning chef who trained in French and Mediterranean cuisine, has an eclectic, urban food style that's heavily Baja-influenced, but his tagline is "borderless flavor" — he doesn't box himself in to only cooking in region-specific styles.
Though he's coming back home, White said he plans to keep operating two restaurants in the San Diego-Tijuana area: La Justina in Tijuana and Craft Pizza Co. in San Diego. His Comun Taqueria in San Diego will close.


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